Friday, April 8, 2011
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One sure way to finally be successful is to write a book about success. Or it doesn't have to be a book about your success. You can just study what made major corporations or some other leaders successful, and you can write about their success. It probably would be a best seller. Everywhere you look today there are seminars, and workshops, and books, and formulas for how to be a winner in what you do.
But all the books and seminars are missing the major determining factor in personal success. Now I can't offer you what one book did. It was called The One-Minute Manager. I can't do it quite that quickly; this will take just a little longer than that, but maybe it will be a little better too.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Five-Minute Winner."
Now, our word for today from the Word of God is found in Genesis chapter 24. It's about Abraham's trusted servant Eliezer. Now he's gotten to be an old man, and so has Abraham. And he gets his biggest assignment, which is to go find Isaac (who in a sense is almost like the prince of what will one day be Israel. They've got this great family, and this great little empire they've built). Well, the prince needs a princess; he needs a wife. And so Eliezer is sent to find the woman who will be in that first generation of Jews; in a sense to be the mother of that generation. And of course, Eliezer wants to succeed. So he goes back to the land from which Abraham came so he can get a believing wife for Isaac.
And here's how the Bible describes his prayer. "Then he prayed, 'O Lord, God of my master Abraham, give me success today.'" Now we know that he really meant that prayer, because after he got the success and found Rebekah and did a bang-up job of getting his goal accomplished, here's what it says, "I bowed down and worshiped the Lord; I praised the Lord." Success is rooted in a prayer life like this. Now, you may not find it in the books or the seminars or the workshops. But when you say, "Lord, give me success today," that's the key to getting it done.
Now there's three factors I think in that prayer. One is dailyness. Eliezer recognizes here that success happens in 24-hour periods; that you have to have a good day. "Lord, give me success in this 24-hour period. Not this month or this year; not for the rest of my life. Help me to succeed today." It's a daily prayer.
Secondly, there's a concept of destiny here. He's recognizing that there is someone already picked out for him to find - recognition that there is a plan. He's going to walk into a divine plan. See, success is fitting into God's plan. From God's perspective, it means being the right person at the right place at the right time, doing it the right way, and God will bring the goal to you.
And then there's dependency here. Praying through your day; making your calls His calls; your exam, His exam; your appointments, His appointments; your contest, your challenges, your problems - they're His. And you can tell by Eliezer's response that he's not bragging; he's praising after he gets what he was after, because he knows (And this is important to remember) that success is ultimately not so much an achievement as it is a gift of God. You don't achieve it, you receive it.
There's a much larger, more lasting success than you could possibly construct. Ultimately, your success is not the result of your degree, or your plan, or your intelligence, or your hard work. It's the result of the blessing of Almighty God - those few minutes in the morning when you say, "Oh Lord, give me success today."